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Scientific classification and medicinal properties of pawpaw

Image of Pawpaw tree with fruitsImage of Pawpaw seeds

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
   Order: Magnoliales
    Family: Annonaceae
     Genus: Asimina
      Species: Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal

Common Names: Indiana Banana, Hoosier Banana, Poor Man's Banana, etc.

Pawpaws are shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 2–12 m tall. The northern, cold-tolerant common pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is deciduous, while the southern species are often evergreen.

Eaten in-hand as fresh fruit or processed into desserts. Twigs are source of annonaceous acetogenins which are being used in the development of anti-cancer drugs and botanical pesticides.

Medicinal properties
The seeds also have insecticidal properties. Some Native American tribes dry and powder them and apply the powder to children's heads to control lice; specialized shampoos now use compounds from pawpaw for the same purpose.

While it is not meant to replace conventional cancer treatments, pawpaw extract is currently investigated as an alternative cancer treatment alongside conventional and approved treatments[citation needed], partly due to inhibition of ATP production by acetogenins. Because acetogenin contents vary widely from tree to tree, only standardized extracts are acceptable.


Nutritional Information of Pawpaw